John Carmack – legendary programmer, Master of Doom, overlong keynote deliverer, amateur rocket scientist – has linked hands with the Oculus Rift’s creators to help bring about the magical VR future we were promised.
Update:We contacted id owners Bethesda, who told us: “John has long been interested in the work at Oculus VR and wishes to spend time on that project. The technical leadership he provides for games in development at id Software is unaffected.”
Another update:“My time division is now Oculus over Id over Armadillo,” tweets Carmack, in reference to his aerospace startup. “Busy busy busy!”
Carmack will become Oculus’ CTO, and work from a new office the company is opening in Dallas. The Penny Arcade Report say that while he begins full time at Oculus today, the id co-founder will retain “ties” to his seminal FPS studio in some capacity.
“I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming,” he wrote in a gushing missive to the Rift community. “The intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on. Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer’s early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there.
“Now is a special time,” he went on. “I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message.
“It’s certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don’t even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It’s going to be awesome!”
“John is one of the brightest minds of our generation,” added Oculus on their site. “Pioneer, visionary, and industry legend. There are very few people in the world that can contribute to the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality like John can.”
Pioneer is the key word – and as id’s famous graphical leaps forward become gradually more incremental and mellow, I suspect Carmack increasingly misses being one. What do you reckon? Flabber your gasts in the comment section below.